As big a melodic element as any of the lead vocal parts are, the electric and acoustic guitars that make up the strongest components of the backdrop in Lavendine’s “Rapture” alone make this adult contemporary single a must-listen for fans of gospel and pop alike this season. Right out of the gate, Lavendine make it quite obvious that their mission as a duo is to impart as monumental a harmony within their music as possible here, and though the message behind the melodies is an important one, it comes to life more through the sonic handiwork in “Rapture” than it does anything else.

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The lyrical content in this single alludes to Christian themes, specifically with regards to its titular reference, but I would still say it remains somewhat interpretive due to the emotion we find in the performance. These women are undeniably as talented as they come in terms of pairings – their chemistry, in large part, is sourced from their being twins – and with every verse that is unleashed, they reveal to us another layer of their artistry without overindulging (a difficult task indeed). It’s superbly polished, and most definitely not the result of a robotic rehearsing schedule.

I really like the equalization of the vocals in the chorus, and to some extent I think it creates a theatrical effect on the words that simply wouldn’t have been as prominent here without the hollowed-out midrange. It was wise to mix “Rapture” more like a heavy metal song than a straight pop number for a few reasons, but the biggest one is steeped in amplifying the moodiness of the instrumentation. These melodies have the potential to wash us in darkness as much as they do optimism, and because of how well they’re manipulated, we get a little bit of both by the time all is said and done.

This song structure is perhaps one of the most progressive I’ve come across in a CCM single this year, and if it’s something that Lavendine are able to replicate in another composition, I think their concept potential will need to be further exploited in the future. Gospel’s most compelling artists are those who can tell us a story that we’ve already heard a million different ways in a fashion that feels fresh and relatable, and when melded with a prog-rock attitude, this cocktail of aesthetics could prove quite intoxicating to put it mildly.

I only just recently found out about Lavendine and their music for the first time, but I’m already admittedly hooked on what they’ve produced in “Rapture.” Lyrically focused but not so beholden to its poetry that we miss out on the semi-virtuosic nature of its harmonies, “Rapture” tells us a lot about who its composers are and what kind of an act they want to be known as. I’m certain that Lavendine are only getting started in this release, and if you check it out yourself, I think you’re going to understand exactly why I’m thinking so this August.

Sebastian Cole